Regenerative medicine that uses methods to repair damaged tissues using specific cells in the body such as platelets has changed the management of acute and chronic pain in recent years. Platelet activation plays a key role in the body’s natural healing process. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy involves injection of patient’s own platelets to accelerate the healing of injured tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints. More and more patients suffering from chronic pain from old injuries find relief from this natural and safe PRP therapy to help regenerate damaged tissues and relieve pain.
PRP involves withdrawing one or more vials of blood and centrifuging them to concentrate the platelets in the plasma. The platelet-rich plasma is then injected back into the body at the site of pain. When PRP is injected into the site of pain or inflammation, the growth factors can kick start your body’s natural healing mechanisms, going to work to repair damaged tissue and restore normal function. As inflammation goes down, the pain relief kicks in, and you can move without the tightness and pain caused by internal pressure and swelling. PRP therapy is a good option for patients for whom other methods, such as steroid injections and oral pain relievers, have failed.
PRP is commonly used for joint or tendon pain caused either by acute (new onset) injuries such as sports injuries; or by chronic (long-term) overuse injuries and degenerative diseases and for other soft-tissue injuries. It has also been demonstrated that PRP therapy improves function and reduce pain in people who have osteoarthritis of the joints, tendonitis such as tennis elbow and golfer’s elbow, Achilles tendon injuries, medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries, rotator cuff tears, and chronic neck and low back pain.
Once injected under ultrasound guidance, platelets initiate repair and attract the critical assistance of adult stem cells to the injured area to intensify the body’s own natural efforts.
PRP therapy relieves pain without the risks of surgery, general anesthesia, or hospital stays. Patients can return to their usual level of activity within 24 hours. To achieve maximum initial inflammatory response of healing, patients are advised to discontinue with their anti-inflammatory drug therapy at the time of PRP treatment. Initial improvement may be seen within a few weeks. Many clinical studies have shown that PRP therapy is highly effective in pain relief allowing patients to enjoy better quality of life. Both ultrasound and MRI images done after treatments with PRP have shown definitive tissue repair and improved healing in the treated area. The frequency of treatment that will be needed varies from one patient to another, depending on the severity of their condition. However, many patients enjoy a great deal of pain relief after the first or second injection.
At Soho Men’s Health, our team will work with you to determine what the best treatment plan will be for you so you can enjoy a life with less pain.